08082020 – Matthew 14. 22-33     

 

So, Jesus has had a BIG DAY of preaching and healing and “needed SOME refreshment.”

That’s our starting place.  That’s where we begin.  That’s our jumping off place, if you will.

Now by refreshment…we are not talking about…liquid beverages, nor are we talking about…

A quick Trip thru State Fair Park for week 3 of the State Fair Drive Thru.

No Charlies – No Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Assoc., no Badger Corn, No Ricks’ Pizza or Elephant Ears, No Saz’ Baby Back Ribs – or Pulled Pork, no CURBSIDE CREAM PUFFS to go…none of that.

 

No Fast Food – like Hardee’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Mickey D’s, or Taco Bell.  Not even a Culver’s Drive Thru…

 

Nope he was having none of that…it was not what he required.

He sustenance and refreshment apparently differed from ours…

No JUNK FOOD whatsoever…

As a matter of fact, when it came to refreshment and nourishment, Jesus turned to God in prayer…

That was his source.

And he frequently received that on a local mountain…

 

It was there, you could get away and think, there you could sort things through, there you could have intimate conversation – without having anyone look at you – like you were some kind of weirdo or something.

 

All of this happens and immediately follows the GREAT FEEDING of all those people on the side of the mountain…

You remember all that fish…and all that bread…twelve baskets full of leftovers…so needless to say, Jesus didn’t want anything to eat…nor did anyone else for that matter.

 

So, Jesus told the twelve, to take a hike, to skedaddle, he needed some alone time…

Scram!  Book!  Leave!

Get out of here!

Hit the road, boys!

So, they did, they got back into their little boat and high-tailed it to the other side.

 

In the meantime, Jesus dismissed all the crowds and spent time yakking with them as they were all leaving…

Once the people were all on their way.

His time, was, well, his time.  It was finally his own.  Yippie!  Skippie!!

 

No disciples, no crowds, no nothing…this is where his REAL SUSTENANCE came from.

 

The wind on the Sea of Galilee, funneled east by the hills on the west of the lake, can get pretty strong, or so they say and so the disciples were actually struggling a little bit.   Maybe even more than a bit.

 

But you know how things can sometimes GO SOUTH- QUICKLY?  They go from BAD to WORSE?  That’s what happened here.

 

All of a sudden, the winds rose up and that small boat with twelve guys in it was being tossed and turned about.  They were being tormented, plummeted, and beaten by the waves.  They struggled to keep the little boat afloat, and to not SWAMP or CAPSIZE it altogether, when long about the FOURTH WATCH (3-6 A.M.) in the morning…still in darkness…

 

Jesus himself comes walking-strolling-sauntering-traipsing-dawdling-toward them in the midst of their chaos, on the darkness OF THE SEA.  They were already in an exhausted state, fearing for their very lives and NOW THIS…

 

At first sight, they were sure it must have been the GRIM REAPER or some kind of specter of death.  Now they are really terrified, frightened, and beside themselves.  It had to be a GHOST.  What else could it be on the face of the waters…amidst all the turmoil?

 

“Guys, calm down, it is I!”  They heard his voice.  They knew his voice.  His sheep know his voice.  And he knows them.  Always!

Boat churning, disciples screaming and hollering, waves slapping, the utter terror of the seas…. the waters of chaos about to envelope them…and he tells us, to “CALM DOWN!”

And before they know all 13 of them are together again in the boat.  The waters have calmed.  The winds have ceased.  Everything is back to the NEW normal.

 

And the very next thing they hear are the words, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Um, Excuse me…

Oh yeah, we forgot about the 5 fish and the two loaves…but that was like a lifetime ago!

Didn’t you hear us calling out to you?

We thought-we had, had it!  Over!  Done with!  No more!

 

And when they were done spewing their gibberish, all they could do was to worship him.

Amen.